About Cryosurgery for Pets

Cryosurgery is a surgical technique which utilizes liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide to freeze unwanted tissue and consequently destroys it. The tissue which is frozen may take up to 3 weeks to fall off but fortunately there is very little discomfort to the pet during this process. Because the surgery does not require cutting and suturing the procedure may be performed with a local anesthetic and/or mild sedation — no general anesthesia is required. The fact that a pet need not be anesthetized for cryosurgery is a great advantage when working an older pet whose liver, kidney and heart may not be in the best of health. Cryosurgery is also a big advantage when attempting to remove a very vascular tumor that would bleed excessive using conventional surgery. Cryosurgery is performed with a special cryosurgery unit that freezes the tissue with either a probe or spray gun. Cryosurgery is generally used on smaller growths and on growths which would be difficult to cut out and suture closed ie. malignant oral tumors or tumors on the lower portion of the animal’s leg. The procedure is, for the most part, very safe when performed by a veterinarian having sufficient experience in using this technique. Cryosurgery also provides the advantage that there are no sutures for the pet to lick out and fortunately most animals never bother the healing wound.